Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the Last Gonzales Poll

Gonzales Research just released their last poll on the Governor’s race prior to the election. The poll, which interviewed 816 likely voters and found a 47%-42% edge for Martin O’Malley, is notable for several reasons.

1. The poll is the fourth one in a row, and the seventh of the last eight, showing a lead for O’Malley. The last time Bob Ehrlich had a lead in a non-candidate-financed poll was on July 8 (when Rasmussen found him up by one point). Here’s the poll chart and list from Real Clear Politics.

2. Undecided likely voters are making up their minds. O’Malley has a five-point lead in this poll. Just 6% of likely voters are undecided, down from 13% in January. Ehrlich would have to get nearly all of them to win.

3. An October 2002 poll by Gonzales found Ehrlich getting support from 25% of Democrats. Ehrlich, of course, won the following month. In today’s poll, Gonzales found Ehrlich getting support from 17% of Democrats. In their words, “17% among Democrats for Ehrlich on Election Day won’t do it.”

4. Ehrlich is not running up large enough totals in the Baltimore suburbs, part of which he used to represent in Congress, to counter O’Malley’s edge in Baltimore, MoCo and Prince George’s. Consider these regional comparisons of Ehrlich’s margin between the October 2002 poll and the new poll.

5. The Gonzales poll’s model for general election turnout is extremely favorable to the GOP. Relative to 2002 – the year of Ehrlich’s victory – they estimate that Democratic turnout will be down sharply and Republican turnout will be up. In 2002, Republicans beat Democrats on turnout rates by 67.4-62.9%. In 2010, Gonzales believes that Republicans will blow out Democrats on turnout by 70.0-55.0%. And still, they find O’Malley with a five point lead.

This is rather bad news for the GOP.